The island is seeing a exponential rise in the use of ketamine as an illicit recreational drug.

Details emerged as three defendants in their early 20s were sentenced for their part in supplying class B drugs.

Blayne Mason Quinn, 22, of Archallagan Terrace, Foxdale, was jailed for a total of 27 months after admitting eight offences relating to the trafficking of ketamine and cannabis and one of money laundering.

The court heard Quinn had been a prolific drugs dealer who had imported ketamine and cannabis from Liverpool for sale in the island.

James Scott Pringle, 25, and Ivan Paulo Tangalin Hufana, 20, walked free from court after being handed suspended sentences.

Referring to a drug expert report submitted to the court, prosecutor James Robinson said there has been a ‘huge upward curve’ in the use of ketamine in the island – and sentencing should reflect the more serious nature of the drug.

The report revealed that the average number of seizures of the class B drug has grown from just £994 per year between 2017 and 2020 to £16,675 per year between 2020-21 and 2022-23..

In the last year alone ketamine to the value of £29,805 had been seized.

The value of seizures in 2017-18 was just £96 then £154 the following year and £2,732 in 2019-20.

But in 2020-21 it had risen to £18,961.

Arrests, too, have risen dramatically from an average of 6.3 a year between 2017 and 2020 to 17.6 a year in the last three years with 25 arrests in the last year alone.

The report notes that at no point during this period had ketamine use been specifically targeted by police.

‘The statistics simply show through normal policing methods that the use is increasing exponentially,’ it adds.

‘Arrests and seizures would clearly indicate ketamine use is becoming more prevalent in the island.’

The report said it is common to find users in possession of both cocaine and ketamine.

But another growing trend, it revealed, is the mixing of ketamine with cocaine which is known in the illicit market as ‘Calvin Klein’ or ‘CK’.

The drug expert report noted: ‘There have been several seizures on island recently where the drug has been found mixed together.

‘Mixing ketamine with other drugs increases the risks to a user and the potential for overdoses and hospitalisations.

‘This also shows that users will willingly take both class A and B drugs together.

‘There have been five instances in the previous two years where persons have required treatment as a result of ketamine use.’

In February, police issued a warning after half a dozen people needed medical attention having taken what appeared to be a tainted supply of the ketamine.

Developed as a synthetic anaesthetic for veterinary use, ketamine has been adopted by young people as a party drug.

Known as Special K or Ket, it is sold as a white or off-white powder. Effects include euphoria, hallucinations, distortions of sight and sound, feelings of detachment and reduced sensitivity to pain.

It can be fatal, particularly if mixed with other drugs.